For a student struggling with IBD, a 504 Plan is imperative to academic success. A 504 Plan is developed for a student with a disability by his or her school to provide support. This form of accommodation eliminates discrimination against these children and protects their rights. Known as a 504 Plan, this accommodation was created in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. A 504 Plan usually includes accommodations, such as environmental changes, instructional changes, and/or curriculum changes.
Such accommodations typically mean that a student may receive extra time on assignments, shortened assignments, and/or separate assignments. Additionally, a student on a 504 Plan may be allowed to leave the classroom if necessary and may be able to take medication or eat and drink in class. As part of a 504 Plan, teachers may also be able to help a student catch up on missed assignments or classes, and the school may even provide private tutoring if needed. These accommodations help students with IBD tremendously, particularly during a flare but even while dealing with daily symptoms.
Public schools are legally required to follow 504 Plans, but even for students attending private schools, it is definitely possible to convince them to follow the plan or at least arrange certain accommodations. Most schools genuinely care about their students, and even if they are not legally required to provide accommodations, they will most likely be inclined to follow the plan.
Not only does a 504 Plan help with everyday school work, but it also helps with standardized testing. If you are taking the PSAT, Pre-ACT, SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, etc., you may be eligible for accommodations during the testing process. For instance, you may be able to take the test privately or with a small group of people. You may also be able to have extra time and/or stop-the-clock breaks, or you may be permitted to eat and drink during the test. The standardized testing boards may be able to provide other accommodations if you apply for them and include a copy of your 504 Plan.
If you suffer from IBD and don’t have a 504 Plan, it would be exceedingly beneficial for you to look into it. Accommodations in school and during standardized testing can help counteract some of the negative affects IBD can have on your academic success. A 504 Plan allows those suffering from IBD to have a fair chance at academic success—which in turn helps remove the negative impact IBD might have on their college applications.
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation have a template section 504 plan for children with IBD. I also found an article that explains how to receive accommodations through a 504 plan, which definitely simplified the process.